The idea that Sir Ridley Scott is attached to a film based on the venerable boardgame Monopoly has been mystifying everybody for a couple of years now. There have been mad hints of family comedies and Blade Runner futuristic cities, but now, finally, the guy behind the initial pitch, producer Frank Beddor, has shed some light on the subject to the LA Times.
And it's really not what we imagined. (Actually, we're not sure what we imagined, but it wasn't this.) Beddor is the author of the Lewis Carroll-inpired Looking Glass Wars, and likens his Monopoly pitch to Alice in Wonderland.
"I took the approach of thinking of the main character falling down the rabbit hole into a place called Monopoly City," he says. The main character is envisaged as a dorky Manhattan real-estate agent who's also an obsessive Monopoly player. A magic chance card transports him to the city where Monopoly money is currency, and where the evil Parker Brothers (what, not the Waddingtons?) must be defeated.
"It tries to incorporate all the iconic imageries -- a sports car pulls up, there's someone on a horse, someone pushing a wheelbarrow," says Beddor, also mentioning recurring sight-gags with Uncle Pennybags (the guy on the box) showing up in different guises.
Kind of like a Jumanji or a Zathura then, and it's still immensely surprising that Scott is so enthusiastic about the project (he apparently shook Beddor's hand after hearing his pitch, and asked him what he needed to do to be part of it). We could just about see Scott coming up with some sort of Wall Street satire, but we'd never have pegged him as a director of family-oriented whimsy. The closest he's come before is the dark fairytale Legend or the romcom A Good Year, neither of which could be called "universally acclaimed".
But we're definitely intrigued, and with Pamela Pettner (Corpse Bride, Monster House, 9) writing the screenplay, Monopoly is developing quite a strong pedigree. We're a long way from the project having a start-date though, so what do you think? A definite go-project, or the jail of development hell?